How to Make Chicken Tikka Masala: The Absolute Best Recipe
This easy stovetop Chicken Tikka Masala tastes just like your favorite Indian take-out and is ready in under an hour.
If and therefore incredibly picky about Indian food. He bemoans the lack of restaurants that serve “proper curries” in our neighborhood.
A delicious recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala that’s sure to please the whole family!
Chicken Tikka Masala (or CT Masala) is one of the most popular Indian dishes outside of India and the UK, where it’s from! This delicious chicken tikka masala recipe uses boneless chicken breasts and shows you how to make authentic chicken tikka masala at home. Once you know how to make chicken tikka masala, you’ll never have to pay restaurant prices again! If you love this easy chicken tikka masala recipe, check out our other Indian recipes here!
This is why, on our annual trek back to the United Kingdom to visit his family over the holidays, we’ve started the tradition of going to an Indian restaurant on New Year’s Eve. We skip the champagne, the sparkles, and the countdown in favor of eating our fill of spicy curry.
To ensure that we’re not deprived of To rest of the year, I am learning how to cook Indian dishes at home. I’m starting with the quintessential British Indian dish: can tikka masala.
WHAT IS CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA
This dish is made with chicken that gets marinated in a spicy curry sauce with plain yogurt and cooked with tomatoes, spices, and more plain yogurt. You can use breasts or thighs, and it’s great served with rice chicken masala.
CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA VS. BUTTER CHICKEN
It’s easy to confuse these two Indian dishes: they’re both chickens in a creamy, tomato-based, spicy sauce. However, Indian butter chicken is creamier and sweeter than Chicken Tikka Masala, which is spicier and more intensely flavored. Butter chicken is also made with butter instead of oil.
HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA
Make this tikka masala in just a few (easy!) steps—the whole dish is ready in under 45 minutes!
Marinate the chicken with yogurt. This tenderizes the chicken and adds flavor.
Cook the chicken.
Make the masala sauce. This involves simmering onions, spices, and tomatoes, with a little yogurt added at the end for creaminess and tangy flavor.
Combine the sauce and the chicken. And you’re done!
TIPS FOR MAKING THE BEST CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA
This easy chicken tikka masala recipe calls for several spices, but they all add to the character several flavors. This recipe is worth the raid on your spice cupboard.
Here are a few tips for this recipe:
Adjust the spice! My husband and I both preferred the chicken tikka masala with a half teaspoon of cayenne pepper. However, if you prefer less spice, you can cut that back to just a quarter teaspoon or just leave it out entirely1 kg chicken masala recipe.
Be sure to marinate: For the best flavor, you’ll also want to marinate the chicken for 4 to 6 hours, or even overnight. This gives the meat time to fully absorb the spicy marinade. However, if you’re in a time crunch, you can just marinate the meat for about 30 to 45 minutes.
Plain yogurt is best: Avoid using Greek yogurt if possible for this recipe; regular plain yogurt is best. Greek yogurt is usually too low-fat and also too thick for this recipe, and can tend to separate when cooked.
If Greek yogurt is all you can find, buy the Greek yogurt with the highest fat content you can find and mix it with a little whole milk to get the consistency of regular yogurt. This will give the sauce some insurance against separating.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA
Before you start cooking the tikka masala (since the cooking goes so quickly!), get a pot of rice going. Spoon the tikka masala over a scoop of rice and top with a sprinkle of cilantro!
Want something a little more special? Try making Indian-style rice or savory coconut rice!
MAKE-AHEAD AND FREEZING INSTRUCTIONS
Yes! You can make the chicken up to 2 days ahead of time. Cover and refrigerate it. Dishes like this improve when the flavor has a chance to meld.
Chicken Tikka Masala will freeze for up to two months. Store in large, zip-top freezer bags and lay them flat in the freezer.
My husband gave this chicken tikka masala recipe his seal of approval. I hope you like it too!
Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Leftover chicken tikka masala tastes phenomenal the next day because the spices develop more flavor overnight.
Avoid using Greek yogurt if possible for this recipe. If it’s all you can find, buy the Greek yogurt with the highest fat content you can find and mix it with a little whole milk to get the consistency of regular yogurt. This will give the sauce some insurance against separating.
For the chicken: The spice mixture is the key ingredient in Chicken Tikka Masala sauce. To make your own, mix cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika, garam masala, and salt with a little vegetable oil.
1 1/4 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts, thighs, or a mix
6 tablespoons plain whole milk yogurt
1/2 tablespoon grated ginger
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
For the tikka masala sauce:
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 small onion, thinly sliced (about 5 ounces, or 1 1/2 cups sliced)
2 teaspoons grated ginger
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (14-ounce) can of crushed fire-roasted tomatoes (regular crushed tomatoes work, too)
6 tablespoons plain whole milk yogurt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
cooked rice to serve
Cilantro, to garnishChicken Tikka Masala is a traditional dish from India that’s typically made with chicken, onions, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, and a mixture of spices. It’s served over white rice and can be topped with cilantro Indian chicken curry recipe
It’s important to remove the skin from the chicken and cut it into small pieces before starting. You can either pound the chicken with a mallet or use kitchen shears to cut it into bite-sized pieces.
1 Prepare the chicken: Trim chicken thighs of any extra fat. Chop into bite-sized pieces about 1/2 to 1-inch wide. Place the chicken thigh pieces in a medium bowl.
Add the yogurt, ginger, garlic, cumin, paprika, and salt. Using your hands, combine the chicken with the spices until the chicken is evenly coated.
2 Marinate the chicken: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the chicken marinate in the fridge for at least 45 minutes or as long as overnight. (Marinating for 4 to 6 hours is perfect.)
3 Cook the chicken: Heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add the chicken thigh pieces and cook for about 6 to 7 minutes, until they’re cooked through. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
4 Toast the spices: Wipe down the pan you used to cook the chicken. Heat the remaining canola oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes, until softened, stirring often.
Add the grated ginger, minced garlic, coriander, paprika, garam masala, turmeric, black pepper, salt, and cayenne. Let the spices cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds to a minute.
5 Make the sauce: Add the crushed tomatoes to the pan with the spices and let everything cook for 4 minutes, stirring often. Add the yogurt and stir to combine.
6 Simmer the sauce: Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the sauce simmer for another 4 minutes. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and coat with sauce.
7 Serve: Serve over cooked basmati rice and garnish with cilantro.